The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Common Myna / Indian Myna

Afrikaans name: Indiese Spreeu

Common Mynas like to share our gardens with us

Common Myna on a garden fence

Photo © Steven Herbert

Acridotheres tristis

The Common Myna is more commonly known as the Indian Myna. This bird is an introduced species in South Africa. Its population has grown tremendously as it spreads from town to town. It is most common around human habitation.

Despite being an introduced species it is loved and admired in some places. In Durban particularly it is used a symbol for some buses etc.

Common Mynas are typically seen in pairs, or small groups, but they often get together in huge numbers overnight. The noise at these roosts in the early evening is unbelievable.

Mynas pair for life and lay about 5 eggs at a time. Their nest sites are normally in holes under roofs or similar structures. They used to be infamous for building their nests in traffic lights, until the design was changed from a closed cylinder to one with an open base.

Mynas are members of the Starling family. They originate from Southern Asia.

Common Myna

Photo © Steven Herbert

They eat a wide variety of foods including insects, small mammals, fruit and seeds. They will readily eat leftover food put out by people.

References and further reading

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 521

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 667

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 174

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 58

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 62

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 311

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 193

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 404

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 2

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 370

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 665

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 509

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 393

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 94

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 384

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 384

Know your Garden Birds - Author: - Published: 0 - Page: 34

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 98

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 290

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 43

Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P. Ginn & G. McIlleron - Published: 1981 - Page: 28

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 118

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 74

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 23

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 255

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 102

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 110

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 238

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 279

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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